Central National-Gottesman

Central National-Gottesman Inc. (CNG) is one of the world's largest distributors of pulp, paper, packaging, tissue, newsprint and plywood. The company employs over 3.000 in more than 150 locations in 48 cities across North America and in 26 countries around the world, including 43 warehouses and 53 retail stores. CNG has been family owned since it was founded in 1886, spanning 5 generations of family leadership and ownership.

Central National-Gottesman Inc.
Private company
IndustryPulp, paper, metal, packaging and forest products
Founded1886, New York City
HeadquartersPurchase, New York, United States
Key people
Kenneth L. Wallach, Executive chairman,
Andrew Wallach,
President and CEO
RevenueIncrease$6.2 billion USD (2018 Estimate)
Number of employees

CNG operates through three divisions: The Central National Division, a global distributor of pulp, paper, newsprint, packaging, tissue and plywood; the North American Distribution Division, comprising four regional paper distributors which supply a range of paper products to large and mid-sized commercial printers and corporate end users; and the North American Publication Division, which supplies paper to the book, magazine, catalogue, retail and direct mail industry.

With 2014 revenues of $4.7 Billion, Forbes ranked CNG 87th in its annual list of "The Largest Private Companies",[1] and Crains New York Business listed CNG as the 11th largest private company in the New York region.[2]

In 2019, Crains New York Business listed CNG as the 5th Largest Private Company in New York, with a 2018 revenue of $6.2 Billion, which is a 17% increase over 2017 revenue. [3]


Founded in Manhattan, New York City in 1886 as M. Gottesman & Company, the firm was substantially expanded under his son D.S. Gottesman in the first half of the 20th century.[4] The company has continued to grow both organically and through acquisition. In 1984 CNG entered the paper distribution business in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of United States through the acquisition of Lindenmeyr Paper Corporation,[5] followed by D.F. Munroe Company in 1988,[6] Communication Paper Corporation in 1991, and Perkins & Squier Company in 1998.[7]


CNG's paper distribution business expanded its geographical footprint in the next decade, opening branches in new locations–Richmond, Chicago, Milwaukee and Durham, NC–as well acquiring several paper distributors in existing markets: the Hudson City Division of Frank Parsons, Inc. in 2009;[8] the Frank Parsons Fine Paper Division in 2010;[9] Hudson Valley Paper Company in 2011;[10] and both Domtar Corporation's Ariva paper merchant business[11] and Bradner Central's paper distribution business in 2013.[12] Geographic expansion continued with the purchase of Spicers Paper, Inc. and Kelly Paper on the West Coast in 2012.[13] In 2015 CNG entered the Canadian paper distribution market with the acquisition of Spicers Canada.[14]

Other areas of CNG continued to expand as well, including the 2013 acquisition of A.T. Clayton, a leading distributor of paper for the magazine, catalogue and direct mail segment.[15] CNG entered the plywood trading business in 2014 through the purchase of Hudson Trading and the North American operations of the Danish forest products company DHL.

After opening an office in Puerto Rico in 2017, CNG now distributes structural steel and semi-finished aluminum products.

In May 2019, CNG's Spicers Paper Division announced it had acquired Premiere Packaging Industries, Inc (PPI), a full-line packaging and office supply distributor based in Southern California. PPI's President John Luyben will continue to serve as President and will report to Spicers President Jan Gottesman.


The company was run from 1956 to 1979 by Ira D. Wallach (son-in-law of D.S. Gottesman). His son James G. Wallach, who launched the company’s expansion into the North American paper distribution business, was CEO from 1979 until his death in 1998.[16] Another son, Kenneth L. Wallach, became CEO in 1998, leading the company through a 17-year period of significant geographic and financial growth.[17] He assumed the position of Executive chairman in 2015. Andrew M. Wallach (son of James G. Wallach), a member of the fifth generation of the founding family, was named CEO in January 2015.[4]

Greenhaven AssociatesEdit

Formally the Investment Division of Central National-Gottesman, Greenhaven Associates is a private investment management firm with approx. 100 clients and $7.5 Billion under management. Edgar Wachenheim III is the founder, CEO and Chairman of Greenhaven Associates. Ed Wachenheim is married to Sue Wallach Wachenheim, the daughter of Ira D. Wallach who is the former CEO of Central National-Gottesman. Greenhaven clients include wealthy families, university endowments and nonprofits. Greenhaven is based in the same building as Central National-Gottesman and invests with a three- to four-year time horizon and is known to pay little attention to short-term or relative performance or to predict on the near-term direction of the stock market. According to CNBC, from 1988 to 2017, the average annual return of a Greenhaven portfolio had been roughly 19 percent.

Ed Wachenheim published his first book in 2018, titled "Common Stocks and Common Sense: The Strategies, Analyses, Decisions, and Emotions of a Particularly Successful Value Investor". Shortly after announcing his book, Wachenheim was one of the featured speakers at the 2018 Delivering Alpha conference, and was interviewed by CNBC anchor Jim Cramer.


  1. ^ "Central National-Gottesman". Forbes.
  2. ^ {{Cite web|url=http://www.crainsnewyork.com/data-lists/business-lists/details/30/2706842%7Ctitle=}
  3. ^ "What you need to know about New York's top privately held companies". Crain's New York Business. November 18, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Who We Are – Central National Gottesman Inc".
  5. ^ "Briefs". The New York Times. April 13, 1984.
  6. ^ "http://socialarchive.iath.virginia.edu/ark:/99166/w69k9hsd"
  7. ^ "central-national-gottesman-supplying-world-paper". Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  8. ^ Inc, Central National-Gottesman. "Central National-Gottesman Acquires Frank Parsons's Fine Paper Division". PR Newswire.
  9. ^ "http://www.naylornetwork.com/ppi-otw/articles/?aid=128474&issueID=21744"
  10. ^ "Central National-Gottesman Acquires Hudson Valley Paper Company". Print+Promo.
  11. ^ "Domtar selling its U.S. Ariva paper operations". The Globe and Mail.
  12. ^ "Central National-Gottesman to Acquire Assets of Bradner Central". Big Picture.
  13. ^ "Central National-Gottesman to Acquire Spicers Paper and Kelly Paper Company". paperage.com.
  14. ^ "CNG acquires Spicers Canada – PrintCAN". printcan.com.
  15. ^ "CNG-acquires-AT-Clayton" (PDF).
  16. ^ Pace, Eric (June 23, 1998). "James G. Wallach, 55, Head of Paper Company". The New York Times.
  17. ^ Crains NewYork Business Book of Lists 2005 shows CNG revenues at $2.05B, compared to 2015 revenues at $5.1B.